KI Pelican Lagoon sale

Letter from eco action  dec 2017

Special edition Dec. 2017

Potential sale or lease of waterfront land at Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo Island
viz. 2 km of Crown Land Coastal Reserves east of Pennington Bay and south of Pelican Lagoon.

Submissions, comments/ letters due: Mon 15th. January, 2018 by 5.00 pm.
Mail:    Kangaroo Island Regional Director, Damian Miley, PO Box 39, Kingscote SA 5223

Also, you can join the online discussion at the yourSay website.

Criteria for the Minister’s decision
The Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation cannot consider feedback in relation to the KI golf course development.
The South Australian Government can dispose of Crown land to an adjoining owner if it has been declared surplus.
Your comments will be provided to the Minister for consideration in making a decision about whether or not to dispose of or lease the land.

Photo of some of the healthy intact scrub earmarked for development .

Background information
The majority of the development for the proposed golf resort, ‘The Cliffs – Kangaroo Island’, will be on Crown Land Coastal Reserves (fairways, clubhouse and lodge and the180 bed hotel). The previous developers were to use the degraded grazing land.

The previous developers aimed to have minimal intrusion into the coastal zone to avoid the potential indirect impact on coastal birds, in particular Osprey, White-bellied Sea-Eagle and shorebirds, associated with the increased human activity.

A coastal walking trail was to have been created whereas this had been withdrawn by the previous owners because of the potential impact on cliff erosion.

In May this year, Minister Rau approved a variation to the original plans.  The original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) did not cover the coastal reserves added in the variation, and no new EIS was ordered by the Minister despite the new plan or “variation” being significantly different to the original.
1. This will set an irreversible precedent for future coastal land use on KI, virtually turning public land into private land.
This is made worse by the fact that these Crown Land Coastal Reserves are in a Coastal Conservation area, important for biodiversity conservation in an area which has become degraded.

2. Public access is being denied or severely restricted.
This disposal is at odds with the current KI Development Plan which outlines the importance of public access being maintained for coastal access.

We strongly disagree with the DENWR Media Release:
“This section of Crown land has limited practical public access points and it is difficult to access the coast from the clifftops. Selling the land would therefore have little impact on public access”

3. This is an area of fragile geology similar to that at Pennington Bay: cliff-top calcareous dunes, porous dune limestone bedrock slopes and cliffs up to 50m high.
There is no buffer zone between the greens and the marine environment.
– potential impact of watered and fertilised greens.
– stray plastic golf balls ending up in the ocean.
4. An Aboriginal archeological site exists in the midst of the proposed fairways.  It has never been properly assessed and is in danger of being destroyed.

Land Use
Although the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation cannot consider feedback in relation to the KI golf course development, the nature of the use of the land is significant.
What applies to the land, Section 507, logically applies to all the coastal reserves on KI.

Impact on wildlife and birdlife
The coastal area contains a lot of natural bushland, habitat to a wide range of flora and fauna such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot and the Hooded Plover, both on the nationally threatened EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act) list.

This land is both a corridor for native fauna and White-bellied Sea-Eagle (WBSE) and Osprey breeding habitat, with an occupied WBSE nest within the recommended 2000m exclusion zone.
They are listed under the EPBC migratory species and are also endangered in SA.

Other threatened fauna in this area include the Heath Goanna (vulnerable in SA), Scarlet Robin (threatened in SA) and the Southern Emu Wren while the Common Brushtail Possum, Sooty Oystercatcher, Shy Heath Wren and Cattle Egret are all classified as rare in SA.
Public notice placed in The Islander, 7th. December.  Please note the date has since been extended to 15th. Jan.

State Biodiversity Planning Policy Bill
State parliament recently passed a bill, initiated by The Greens, to  ensure that  biodiversity is properly considered in all planning decisions.   Mark Parnell said, “There is a real crisis in biodiversity in South Australia, which is under threat from many sides including loss of habitat and climate change.  Whilst passing a law for a new State Biodiversity Planning Policy won’t fix the problem overnight, it sends an important message to State and Local Governments that they can’t ignore the natural environment when making decisions about development or rezoning land.”

State election March 2018
With the impending state election next year, you may want to send a copy of your letter to the sitting member for the electorate of Mawson and to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation.

Minister Leon Bignell, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Forest, Tourism, Recreation and Sport, and Racing
Mail:    GPO Box 1671, Adelaide SA 5001

Minister Ian Hunter
Mail:    GPO Box 1047, Adelaide SA 5001

Let’s stop this sale of public land
Please forward this e-News to your networks on the mainland and on KI and encourage others to voice their comments.  
The numbers of letters and submissions received could well be the crucial factor influencing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Ian Hunter’s decision.

For further Information, please contact Bob Huxtable


Compiled by Joan Huxtable on behalf of Eco-Action Core Group.